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Undergraduate course

Development & Education of Children & Young People Foundation Degree

The Foundation Degree Development and Education of Children and Young People is a relevant contemporary qualification combining theoretical perspectives with core features of employer engagement

Children playing

The Development and Education of Children and Young People Foundation Degree (FD) is a contemporary qualification which combines theoretical perspectives with the core features of employer engagement, accessibility, progression and partnership. This course runs one night a week over a two year period (with occasional Saturdays). Studying will not cost your employer anything and this is a great chance to improve your knowledge, skills, confidence and employability while you work.

93% of students on this Foundation Degree were satisfied with their course. (National Student Survey 2018)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – Direct
  • Duration – 2 years full-time | 4 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2020, September 2021
  • School – Education

Minimum Entry Requirements

    48 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) and at least six months work experience in the wider children’s workforce

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £4,100 per year

    International 2020-21 £12,750 per year

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

The sector often referred to as the Wider Children’s Workforce continues to diversify and expand. It requires skillful, experienced and qualified practitioners who are able to respond to the needs of children and young people living within increasingly complex conditions, locations and family situations. 

Research shows that children and young people are more likely to reach their full potential if:

  • The child is placed at the centre of practice
  • Staff supporting the development and education of children are well qualified and are committed to their own development
  • Service providers work in partnership with other professionals and promote a reflective culture

This Foundation Degree has been designed to enable you to study alongside existing work commitments and there is an expectation that you will be working either in paid or voluntary capacity in the wider children’s workforce.

Course structure

Level 1


Compulsory Modules:

Scholarly and professional development
This module is designed to support students to develop the skills to study effectively at Foundation Degree level including: research skills, critical thinking, academic writing, referencing and reflective practice. The module will also look at the development of professional skills, knowledge and values.

Child and adolescent development 
This module is designed to enable students to acquire a broad academic insight into the theories, principles and expectations relating to the development of children and young people. It examines emotional, physical, social, sexual, moral and cognitive development and the factors that can impact on these.

Families interventions 0-19
This module explores the changing nature of ‘the family’ as an institution and explore sociological and psychological perspectives. Recent policy interventions in families will be identified, examined and evaluated.

Rights, risk and safeguarding children and young people

The importance of safeguarding and protecting children and young people is reflected in policy and work practices which have shaped the children and young people’s workforce. This module will consider the role of practitioners to safeguard and also to recognise the children and young people who are most at risk. Students will engage in debates which evaluate the rights of all children, the risks and vulnerabilities that are inherent in society.

Mental health and wellbeing 
This module explores the issues of mental health and wellbeing when working with children, young people and families and the application of the Person-Centred Approach.

Optional Modules:

Contemporary issues when working with children and young people 
Learners will explore the impact that specific contemporary issues have on a variety of individuals including; the child or young person, their family members and practitioners. Issues will be examined in local, national and international contexts enabling learners to compare perspectives and the underpinning ethos, values and beliefs.

Understanding special educational needs 
Special Educational Needs (SEN) is a term widely used among practitioners and in government policies for schools and other wider children’s workforce settings; it is therefore extremely important to understand its meaning, the implications it might have for practice and the effects it can have on those who are labelled with it.

 Each module is worth 20 credits

Level 2


Compulsory Modules:

Research skills
This module aims to support students in preparing the skills and knowledge required to undertake research with children, young people and families. It will examine key methodologies and methods that underpin research. It will support students in developing a critical understanding of the practical, ethical and theoretical issues that can be involved in undertaking research in this area.

Equality, inclusion and diversity 
This module aims to develop student’s systematic understanding of the issues of social inclusion, equality and diversity within the social and moral fabric of the lives of children, young people and families today. It endeavours to allow students to examine the nature of inclusion and anti-oppressive practice to develop a critical thinking around key issues such as class, ethnicity and race, gender and sexuality, disability and Special Educational Needs.

Professional values and approaches
Practitioners working with children, young people and families are required to constantly make decisions about interventions, consider appropriate approaches, and decide what the ‘right’ thing to do is. As such practice is a moral activity, which is guided by values. This module will support students in reflecting on and exploring how values are formed, why they are important in the work they do, and to identify, critique and reflect on the personal, professional and political values that influence their practice.

Social policy and the wider children’s workforce 
This module will develop students understanding of social policy and its broader impact on the wider children’s workforce. The purpose of social policy will be discussed and the concepts and processes that are involved in the policy making process explored.  The extent to which social and political factors influence the treatment of children and families will be considered.  The module will make connections between political ideologies and values, demonstrating how approaches to social policy are dynamic and change in different times and locations. Students will be provided with an opportunity to evaluate one aspect of social policy that impacts on their own practice within the wider children’s workforce.

Organisational structures in the children and young people’s workforce 
This module explores the way in which multidisciplinary team working is delivered throughout the wider children’s workforce. Students will learn how safeguarding concerns and changes in policy led to the creation of multidisciplinary team working and how this model shapes many organisational structures today.

Optional Modules:

Managing behaviour
This module aims to help students reflect upon the behaviour of children. It will also allow students to consider how behaviours may be responded to and what may be causal factors. Based on the premise that students on this course will be engaged in working with children in some form it seeks to prepare them for dealing with a range of behaviours by exploring the causes of such behaviour and ways of responding to behaviour.

State intervention in childhood
This module is designed to engage students in the contemporary debates surrounding state intervention with children and families. These debates are particularly relevant today as factors such as globalisation, sustainability, individualisation, austerity and neo-liberalism have impacted upon policies and practice. There still remains an interest in the problem of “troubled” families, - particularly where children are involved – this module considers the way in which policy and practice responds to those who do not live up to societal expectations.

Community work
Current policy measures have shifted the focus from direct state provision towards co-productive processes in which communities themselves are ‘empowered’ to respond to their own needs. As such, the module enables students to develop a critical understanding of work in and with communities by equipping them with the means with which to examine the holistic needs of specific communities and explore the potential of differing approaches in meeting aspirations. Students will examine and discuss what is meant by the term community, and the values and ethics underpinning community work.

 Intervention: Assessment, implementation and evaluation 
Work with children, young people and families requires that professionals are able to: identify and prioritise their needs; select and implement interventions that address them; and evaluate the impact that their work has. Drawing on an action research approach, this module will support students in critically reflecting on and evaluating the process of intervening in the lives of children, young people and families.

Each module is worth 20 credits

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

48 - 112 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C or above (or equiavalent) including English Language

Calculate your tariff points.

International Students

If you're an international student, you will need to show that your qualifications are equivalent to those above.

Detailed qualification equivalence can be found in our 2020 International Prospectus (PDF18.08MB)

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

You must meet the University’s general entry criteria for undergraduate study. In addition, students wishing to enrol should typically have the following:

Level 1 Enrolment

You must meet the University’s general entry criteria for Undergraduate study. In addition, students wishing to enrol should typically have the following:

  • At least six months work experience in the wider children’s workforce
  • English Language GCSE at grade C, or equivalent level 2 award
  • A relevant level 3 qualification or two A2 levels
  • A letter of support from an employer which confirms that you are employed or volunteering with them and that you have satisfactory DBS clearance

Level 2 Enrolment

You must meet the University’s general entry criteria for Undergraduate study. In addition, students wishing to enrol should typically have the following:

  • At least six months work experience in the wider children’s workforce
  • English Language GCSE at grade C, or equivalent level 2 award
  • A relevant level 4 qualification
  • A letter of support from an employer which confirms that you are employed or volunteering with them and that you have satisfactory DBS clearance

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Teaching & assessment


There will be a combination of taught sessions and seminars, facilitation of discussions and debates (about key ideas and concepts), with empowering, exploratory activities where you can take control of your own development.

Contact hours

It is planned that the teaching and learning will take place on one evening and over several Saturdays per semester so that you are able to continue to work full time if required.

Self-study time

Outside of taught sessions, you will be expected to undertake further reading around the subjects you are studying and complete coursework.

We have extensive electronic textbooks as part of the reading lists for modules that you can access from the Information Learning Services website from anywhere. Course Moodle pages also contain a range of information, videos and activities to support the taught sessions. Academic staff will also direct you to relevant sources to support your learning.


You will benefit from being taught by , many of whom have relevant sector and academic expertise. Alongside the core staff team we have some visiting lecturers who represent a range of professions from the wider children’s workforce.


This Foundation Degree has been designed to enable you to study alongside existing work commitments. There an expectation that you will be working in a paid, or voluntary capacity in a wider children’s workforce setting throughout the programme.

Assessment and feedback

A wide range of assessments have been selected, including: a digital portfolio, essays, case study, literature review, presentation, time-lines, a wiki and an evaluative report. In some modules the format for the assessment can be negotiated, allowing you to select an assessment approach that works best for you.

100% of the course is assessed via course work, with a range of different types of assessment being used. There are opportunities for formative assessment (where feedback is given after an activity in order to support  further learning) across the course. Some modules have summative assessment (typically in the form of a graded piece of work) at the mid-point as well as at the end of the module. This helps support your development and add to your confidence as you approach the end of level assessment.

Fees and funding

To study for an Undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website. York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships. There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation

Tuition fees

Home / EU students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £4,100 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Overseas students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Funding your course

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.



View our accommodation webpages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.


Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (e.g. full-time or part-time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

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